Aug 31

Spurrier or Swinney? The Choice is Yours.

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Clemson and South Carolina fans love to feud, and here is another topic in which there is no shortage of disagreement. These two coaches could not be more opposite, and that's what makes ths debate fun. As a head coach, 65-year old Steve Spurrier has been head coaching for 23 years at three different schools, has won a national title, six conference titles (one at Duke, five at Florida), coached a Heisman winner (Danny Wuerfell, '96) and has earned his own nickname: "Dark Visor." Swinney is just 40-years old, has coached a year and a half at one school, and has yet to be in a national title hunt (won one as a player in '92 with Alabama). However, he did coach a Heismanesque player (I'm joking, but look what Spiller is doing already for Buffalo), and has himself had a nickname long before Spurrier had one: "Dabo." So which one of these two men would you want leading your team?

One is sarcastic and at times can safely be labeled as "kind of a smart-ass (Spurrier)." While the other way over uses the way over used coaching cliches (Dabo. He will go by his first name in this article). Spurrier is a veteran who has "seen it all." Dabo is a youngster who is learning a lot on the fly. One is questioned every so often about his fire. The other's youth sometimes displays more energy than would be considered normal.

Both of these coaches are special people. Spurrier has won a Heisman as both a player ('66), and coached a player to one, as well. Very cool. And the fact that he took his alma mater to a national championship is one of the coolest things I think you can do (Rich Rod, you out there reading this?) Spurrier has been successful in the college game for many, many years, and many think it is is just a short matter of time until he gets South Carolina over the hump and into the BCS. His record shows he can do it, and he is getting players. Why should we doubt him?

Swinney is also a special guy. At such a young age, and with no head coaching experience, men such as Terry Don Phillips (Clemson Athletic Director, who is a veteran of college athletics) and Tommy Bowden (previous coach who also is deeply knowledgable of the college game) personally chose Swinney to lead the Tigers. It was a gamble, but they saw a smartness and an energy that was special. So far it has gone well as Dabo lead CU to to the ACC title game in his first season. This year he is low on wide receivers, and the linebackers are young, but everywhere else is looking pretty good!

In cold hard facts, it goes like this. South Carolina is  35-28 under Spurrier since he signed his papers with USC on November 23, 2004. They have not really challenged for the Eastern division crown in the SEC, but then again Florida has been one of the best teams in America the last five years. Bowl-wise, the Gamecocks are 1-3 under Spurrier. Against Clemson, Spurrier is 2-3.

In 2008, Dabo took over mid-season and led Clemson to a record of 4-3 down the stretch as the interim coach. He signed as the real head man on December 1, 2008. In 2009, his first full season, Swinney lead the Tigers to a record of 9-5. He is one-for-one in winning the ACC Atlantic division - a division that folks just love to take shots at - but in the ACC title game the Tigers lost a thriller to Georgia Tech, 39-34. Bowl-wise, Swinney is 1-1, losing to Nebraska and beating Kentucky. In the ACC, Swinney has an overall (interim included) record of 9-4 and he is 1-1 overall against rival South Carolina.

So that brings me back to the question presented in the headline: Which coach would you take? Both have pros and cons, but without wearing glasses colored in orange or garnet, who would you want leading your team in 2010?

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